Joining a society in my first year was one of the things that help me get out of my shell and feel more comfortable as I adapted to my new environment. My first Freshers’ Fair was overwhelming and exciting seeing all the different variety of societies, I think I probably joined 15 societies. As a choice, this was slightly optimistic, a little unrealistic even. At the end I probably ended up going to 4 different society events, and throughout my 3 years my attention became focused to one.
But when you’re a fresher (cue strings section) trying your hand at new things forms a huge part of the experience. There’s no such thing as signing up to too many things (unless you’re being asked to pay a fee right away, in that case sleep on certain decisions). As long as you’re keeping it simple by sharing your email address, following the societies on social media and staying attentive to their socials and activities, I would actually advice not to pay a fee right away. Play it by ear, wait to see what looks good, who of your friends are going, which societies seem the most dedicated and which seem to be making the most buzz through the grapevine.
Making the most of societies boils down to what you want. If you’re in it for the parties and the socials and going to pub crawls you will be able to find that. But if you’re not into drinking or partying and are more interested in watching anime with people who also like doing that, or playing a sport, or learning Italian or Mandarin you will find that as well! The key here is trying your hand at all the things you think you might like. And then try your hand at the things you know you don’t like but for your flatmate or your friend are willing to give it a go for an afternoon or a night. Being dragged to an Irish dancing class or a documentary club event can be thrilling sometimes (talking from experience).
If you weren’t at Freshers’ Fair do not worry either! Societies are directly in touch with Brookes Union and each of them is listed on their website, where you can for the most part find their contact information and express your interest. If for any reason that’s not the case, you can also find a lot of the societies on Facebook and if that’s also not the case you can always email the SU on [email protected] or call them at 01865484750.
Lastly, it is never too late to join a society. Even if they already have things going on (like plays or orchestra functions), there’s always a chance to take part and maybe later be part of their next production. For the most part however, they will always be happy to have you and make you feel part of their community.
Keep all this in mind and put your best foot forward!
... and the ones that won't